Amazon didn't get to be, well, Amazon by doing anything half-assed. The company has been applying its can-do mentality to the streaming video space. While Netflix spent the last six months stumbling and bumbling while its stock price plummeted, Amazon has quietly been bringing new TV titles to its Prime Instant Video service at a rapid pace. Today, the company announced that it has signed a deal with Discovery Communications to bring shows from Animal Planet, TLC and the Discovery family of stations to Prime.
Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet costs $249 while Amazon's Kindle Fire sells for $199. There are other differences between these two competing 7-inch tablets, of course, but for many consumers, the only one that matters is the $50 price discrepancy. In the eyes of the average shopper, both of these slates are capable of doing the same thing, so why pay 25 percent more for the Nook Tablet? Tech savvy users can answer that question by running their fingers down the spec sheets, but at the end of the day, Amazon's Kindle Fire, now the second most popular tablet in the world behind the mighty iPad, is the one people are buying. If the Nook Tablet was also priced at $199, would that still be the case?
Amazon is too busy raking in all that Kindle cash to offer any clues about a larger successor to the Kindle Fire, but most industry watchers are convinced that such a device is coming. Following a DigiTimes report in December, Pacific Crest analysts have raised sales expectations for Amazon in expectation of a 9-inch Fire successor this summer.
Google wants to know what sites you visit, when you visit them, and what you do when you're there. It wants to spy on your Web surfing behavior, to know details that perhaps even your significant other doesn't know, and it's willing to pay you if you'll agree to let it relentlessly follow you around the Web. If you do, you'll receive up to $25 in cold, hard... gift certificates.
Amazon announced a deal with Viacom today that brings it one step closer to truly competing with Netflix as a streaming video service. Amazon Prime Video will soon be streaming TV shows from MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central to Prime subscribers. The 2,000 new titles will push Amazon’s Prime offerings to roughly 15,000.
If you can’t beat Apple’s iPad, change the rules of the game. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are taking a bath on sales of the $199 Kindle Fire and the $249 Nook Tablet, respectively, and making up for it with profits on sales of electronic merchandise (e-books, videos, music, and apps). The strategy has succeeded in moving a lot of hardware, with each company on track to sell millions of units (although the ratio of Kindle Fire to Nook Tablet sales is greatly in Amazon’s favor so far). Both tablets feature nearly identical 7-inch, 1024x600 LCDs and rely on Wi-Fi for connectivity. Which should tempt you away from the high-end tablets? Only a bloody-knuckled deathmatch will tell.
Amazon today announced financial results for the last quarter of 2011, reporting a 58-percent decline in net income year over year and a lower-than-expected increase in net sales. This despite the fact that its Kindle devices, including the Fire, sold really well in this period. Hit the jump for more.
How much trust do you put into those 5-star reviews on Amazon, or glowing reviews on any e-commerce site, for that matter? Smart online shoppers know to thoroughly research a product before forking over part of a payday, but when a $10 Kindle cover boasts a 4.9 rating out of nearly 5,000 reviews, would you really be suspicious of shenanigans in a sample size that large? Perhaps you should be.
When Amazon announced that the Kindle Fire would launch below $200, the audience literally erupted in applause. Getting that first number down to a one, even if only by a penny, has important psychological consequences on consumer behavior. Even more surprising were the analyst reports that circulated around the same time suggesting Amazon was paying around $210 to build each unit. Taking a $10 loss might not sound like much for a company with such deep pockets, but multiply that by millions of devices sold and its one heck of a risky move.
Rumors have been swirling for weeks that Apple's working on a smaller version of the iPad (insert iPod touch jokes here) to compete with Amazon's lower cost Kindle Fire device, but maybe we've been led astray. Maybe Apple has no intentions of releasing a 7-inch iPad -- Steve Jobs always scoffed at the idea anyway -- and perhaps it's Google, not Apple, who will ultimately fight Fire with, well, something.